Junior defensive tackle Josué Ortiz can bench the more than a sumo wrestler, throw quarterbacks to the ground, and block punts.
This afternoon, the Associated Press acknowledged those abilities and named the Crimson standout a third-team All American. Columbia tight end Andrew Kennedy was the only other Ivy Leaguer to make the cut, notching a second-team award.
The honor comes after a season in which Ortiz finished second in the league in sacks and tied for first in tackles for loss. Ortiz finished the season with 34 tackles, including 14 solo tackles, and 7.5 sacks.
But the stats don't tell the full story of Ortiz's dominance. Offensive lines struggled to contain the dynamic pass rusher all season, and the junior often forced quarterbacks to make hurried throws or opened holes for teammates.
"It makes playing linebacker a lot of fun," rising captain Alex Gedeon has said of playing with Ortiz and graduating senior Chuks Obi. "You know, it opens up a lot of gaps that we can run through and make plays, because they’re taking on double teams and they’re so destructive up front. Those two guys have made my job a lot easier this year."
Prior to his selection as an All American, Ortiz was named All New England and first team All Ivy. Ortiz and graduating captain Collin Zych were the only defensive players in the league to be unanimously named to the first team.
Harvard athletes and movie stars are necessarily equated, but three Harvard alumni—the Winklevoss twins and Tommy Lee Jones—have managed to make a name for themselves on the big screen. Jones has long been one of the most respected names in the film industry while the Winklevoss twins have gained fame—or notoriety—through David Fincher's “The Social Network,” in which they were both played by Armie Hammer.
Here's a quick update on what the three celebrities have been up to.
Two of the only celebrity rowers in the world, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, are again in the news for their off-water pursuits. The “Winklevii,” as they are called in “The Social Network,” are still in the process of suing Mark Zuckerberg. The twins, who graduated in 2004, have already received $65 million from Zuckerberg and co. in a lawsuit, but they have alleged that Zuckerberg was dishonest about the value of the product and are appealing for more money.
For many athletes, an ACL tear can mean the end of a career. But for Dr. Mark Drakos ’98 it was just the beginning.
Drakos, a former four-year varsity wide receiver for the Crimson, saw his fair share of injuries while in uniform. He also noticed that he and his teammates would be especially sore after games and practices held on different surfaces.
Now an orthopedic surgeon, Drakos has turned these observations into one of the field’s most progressive and unique research programs.
It looks like Gino Gordon’s peers aren’t the only ones who recognize his value. The senior running back followed up his Greely Crocker Award as Harvard football’s MVP this season—an honor voted on by his teammates—with a nomination for the 2010 Asa S. Bushnell Cup, which goes to the Player of the Year in the Ivy League.
Gordon joins three other finalists, all of whom had significant impacts for their respective teams in 2010. Dartmouth junior tailback Nick Schweiger, Penn sophomore quarterback Billy Ragone, and Princeton senior receiver Trey Peacock round out the standout group.
Undoubtedly the most successful recent alum of the Harvard football team, Matt Birk '98 has continued to raise the bar for Crimson athletes in major professional sports.
Once again, the center is one of the top offensive linemen in the NFL. With Birk at center, the Baltimore Ravens rank fourth in Rush pwr for rushes through the center. Rush pwr records the number of times when a team successfully attains the two or fewer yards needed for a first down or touchdown on third or fourth down or on any goal-to-go scenario. In other words, when his team needs crucial yardage, Birk is one of the best centers in the league at creating holes.